The schism between Revis and the Jets, born out of contract disputes and a petulant owner, seemed destined to lead to this moment. A team with minimal overall talent would trade away its superstar in order to rebuild, and the fan base would be left to debate what they received and why it led to this. I admit outright that divorcing the emotion from this trade is incredibly difficult. I have my Revis jersey. I had the thought that, like my dad with Joe Namath, I'd have one transcendent Jet to use as justification for rooting for this team. Now, we're stuck trying to rationalize the trade and what the future holds.
First, the compensation. Setting market value for an elite cornerback coming off a devastating injury is speculative at best, and you can't look toward superstar deals of the past or anything involving the Raiders as evidence for a fair package. Revis is elite, but the murkiness of his recovery and his advancing age bring him down in value. I look toward a trade like the Brandon Marshall one (done for 2 third round picks) as a decent parallel to Revis' current value. The Bucs trumped that compensation with a 2013 first and a conditional 2014 third, a package that adequately addresses both possibilities for Revis' return. I don't think the Jets should have traded from such a position of weakness, but the 13th pick in the draft and a likely third next year is a decent haul.
After the trade went through, the Bucs revealed the details of Revis' contract. At 16 per year but fully non-guaranteed, the contract puts the onus on Revis to perform and helps eliminate the threat of a hold out. Naturally, we wonder if we could have seen the Jets offer a similar contract. Reports from the NY media implied a total lack of communication between the team and Revis, a stunningly incompetent move by the team that makes their current claims of wistful regrets all the more infuriating. For a team like the Jets, committing $16 million annually to a risk like Revis would stunt the rebuilding process. It makes logical sense to cut ties and look for cheaper, younger options through the draft and through bargain bin free agents.
However, even with all this in mind, the move still stings because of the implications it offers about the organization. I think of Woody Johnson now and I think of James Dolan, of Jerry Jones; overreaching owners who intrude into the football decisions and micromanage the people they've hired to run the show. Woody seems like Jones because he craves the media spotlight and injects himself unnecessarily into the operations. He also reminds me of Dolan because of the pettiness involved in those whole affair. Like neglecting to match Lin's offer sheet because he "spurned" the Knicks, Johnson let prior holdouts create an ultimatum for Idzik; you want the job, get rid of the guy that I don't like.
Thus, we're stuck with this mixed bag. We can be hopeful for the future, but the hope should be limited by the ceiling created by an overbearing and problematic owner. Let's hope first for a solid draft and a quick jettison of the bloated waste. Maybe then we can get over the petulant nonsense and build a winning team.